Matt Pryor
Matt Pryor
Matt is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. He appreciates all esports titles but primarily focuses on Fortnite and Call of Duty. Matt continuously analyzes gameplay and plays the games himself to better understand in-game decisions by the best players in the world.

Fortnite Season 8 Competitive Update: FNCS Season 8, $5 Million FNCS Grand Royale, Arena Changes & More

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Epic Games provides a roadmap for the competitive Fortnite scene in Chapter 2 - Season 8.


Competitive Fortnite Battle Royale is back starting in the new season. It was quite an adventure in Chapter 2 - Season 7, which culminated in the tenth season Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) competition, where seven trios received the coveted Axe of Champions reward. However, now’s the time to turn the page to another season, with a new meta and plenty of excitement on the horizon.

Today, Fortnite developer Epic Games unveiled its plans for the competitive landscape in Chapter 2 - Season 8. They discussed changes to the FNCS format, Arena Mode and the first-ever FNCS Grand Royale, which offers a $5M USD prize pool to qualified players. So, grab some popcorn, and let’s see what Epic has in store for competitive Fortnite in Season 8.

FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 8 Details

The Fortnite Championship Logo, featuring the iconic Fortnite storm in the centre of a shield appears in the middle of a lime green background. 7 black stars surround the bottom of the shield

Season 8 Qualifiers (October 15-17 & October 22-24)

Epic Games has cut the number of FNCS Qualifiers from three to two and will compensate by offering five seats in the Season 8 Finals. In previous seasons, the top three teams would automatically qualify for the FNCS Finals at the end of each qualifier, thus bypassing the Semi-Finals. That number will increase to five in Chapter 2 - Season 8. Epic explained their thought-process behind the decision:

“We feel this is a meaningful change as there is typically a clear points dropoff on the Leaderboards of each Qualifier after the top 5, and fewer Qualifiers allows the best teams that have directly qualified to the Finals to not miss out on pinnacle competition for a longer length of time. A shorter FNCS season is also necessary to accommodate for the additional end of year FNCS event and other competitive offerings.”

Season 8 Semi-Finals (October 28 & October 29)

Like the Qualifiers, Epic is also implementing a sizable change to the Semi-Finals. Instead of the top-99 teams reaching the semis based on Series Points, only 66 will earn the right to compete in the heats. That means Epic is reducing the number of heats from three to two for Chapter 2 - Season 8. Day two of the Semi-Finals will be an expanded version of the popular Reboot Round format to cover this adjustment.

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Here is a condensed breakdown of the new Semi-Finals structure for Season 8.

FNCS Semis Day One

  • Top 66 teams based on Series Points will be divided into two heats
  • The top four teams in each heat advance to the Season 8 Finals

FNCS Semis Day Two

  • Expanded Reboot Round format
  • Each heat will play six matches
  • The winners of each game will secure a spot in the Season 8 Finals

Epic’s closing statement regarding the new Semi-Finals format is a rather interesting take on the change:

“As the Semi-Finals progress across the two days with these changes, all participating teams are never out of the running! The map and contested POIs will dynamically open up as more and more teams advance out after each match, leading to a more natural crescendo for players and fans. Teams’ in-the-moment early game decisions matter more during the duration of these new Semi-Finals.”

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Season 8 Finals (October 30 & October 31)

The FNCS Finals remain essentially unchanged from the last few seasons. However, the top three teams per region will NOT automatically qualify for the next season’s FNCS Finals. The developers referenced a “fresh start,” which could mean a new format or perhaps an entirely new chapter in Fortnite Battle Royale.

The prize pool distribution is the same as last season, which you can see below:

Prize Pool

  • EU - $1,351,200
  • NAE - $635,100
  • BR - $428,175
  • NAW - $222,300
  • Asia - $150,600
  • ME - $122,250
  • OCE - $90,450

$5 Million FNCS Grand Royale Competition

The Fortnite Champion Series logo, a stylized version of the game's Storm event inside a shield, appears against a yellow background

Another specialty FNCS event is in the plans for the beginning of November. Epic conducted the FNCS All-Star Showdown to open Season 7, and they are sticking with the concept of running high-stakes tournaments alongside the seasonal FNCS competitions. The blog post mentions a targeted date of November 12--two weeks after FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 8 concludes. Qualification is dependent on trios that reach any “single-lobby round of the FNCS.”

Epic mentioned that this will be a trio tournament with $5M USD on the line. More details are expected to surface later in Chapter 2 - Season 8.

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Season 8 Preseason Period

Against the wishes of many professional players, Epic will bring back the preseason period next season. With the new season launching presumably on September 14, Arena Mode ranks will not reset until September 28. That allows enough time for players to assess the changes in Season 8 and give cordial feedback to Epic Games. The developers will host a “Preseason Warmup Test” competition with the familiar trios format from September 24 to September 26.

Planned Arena Mode Changes

Reworked Point System & Fill Option

The Hype Leaderboard, showing the different League badges available in Fortnite's Arena Mode

After changing the Arena Mode point system last season, Epic listened to the overwhelming responses regarding the adjustment. The new scoring structure allowed players to reach Champion League quicker than usual under the right circumstances. While Epic did not reveal specific details, they plan to rework Arena points to make it more challenging for players to reach Champion League.

The blog post also referenced a potential “Fill” option for players to experience Fortnite’s competitive game mode with random teammates. This feature is something competitive fans have wanted for quite some time.

Other Planned Events

The Dreamhack Open Featuring Fortnite is written in white words on a red and orange background

To round out the Season 8 competitive update, the developers listed specific tournament dates that players should expect. Duo Hype Cups and more Console tournaments beyond the seasonal Champions Cup are the only new addition worth noting.

Here is a complete list of the referenced competitions in Chapter 2 - Season 8.

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  • Trio Cash Cups (Mondays)
  • Trio Hype Cups (Mondays)
  • Duo Hype Cups (Fridays)
  • Solo Cash Cups (Sundays)
  • LTM Tournaments (Sundays)
  • DreamHack Trio Cash Cup Extras (October 6, November 3, December 1)
  • DreamHack Online Open ft. Fortnite (October 7 to October 10)
  • Console Champions Cup (November 5 to November 7)
  • More Console-specific Tournaments
  • Outfit Tournaments

Epic Games did not provide any additional details regarding a return to an offline environment or another Fortnite World Cup. Hopefully, we’ll hear something in the next few months.

That covers everything Epic covered in the latest competitive update. When that information becomes available, we’ll be sure to provide more details about the upcoming FNCS Chapter 2 - Season 8 and $5M Grand Royale tournament!

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